by Robbin Montero


This is your special day, so you want it to be unique and memorable—like you. Break the mold and don’t just follow the trend. Mix a little fun and magic into your wedding event by adding personal touches to your ceremony and reception that will create lasting memories for all to savor.

Pre-wedding letters. Pre-wedding letters and wedding websites provide information of value to wedding guests such as overnight accommodations, car rental agencies for out-of-town guests, local points of interest, and a schedule of wedding events and activities.


Themes. Transform a traditional wedding into a festive and memorable Victorian, Renaissance, country/western, “Great Gatsby”, garden weddings or South of the Border occasion. You can also introduce elements of common interests, such as arriving or departing in antique cars.


Food and beverages. Consider demonstration food stations instead of table service. Offer a seafood or oyster shooter bar during the hors d’oeuvres segment of your reception. Top the reception off with a cappuccino, latte or a delicious dessert bar. Treat your guests to a martini bar or have a non-alcoholic bar stocked with an array of refreshing fruit punches and frozen smoothies. An upscale cigar station will appeal to the men. Instead of ordering one large wedding cake, get your guests salivating over individual cakes in a variety of flavors, or opt for a cupcake tower.


Toasts and acknowledgments. During the rehearsal, extend special toasts to family members and friends; pay homage to the guest who has traveled the greatest distance. Heartfelt  gratitude publicly expressed to your parents is always fresh and appreciated. Better yet, honor each bridal party member with a brief remark or anecdote.


Selectively toss out traditions. Forget the traditional bouquet toss! Instead, recognize a special single person who has attended the wedding and hand them the bridal bouquet. Rather than spend money on meaningless favors, designate the reception table centerpieces for special guests as a personal wedding memento. A pretty little picture frame holding the place card makes a useful take-home item. If you place disposable cameras on the tables so guests will take pictures of each other, you can order second prints and enclose a copy of each guest’s photo with their thank you note. Enclose a suggestion that they place the photo in the frame that originally held their place card. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Guest book options. A journal book filled with congratulatory wishes written by guests during the reception is a priceless keepsake. Small cards may also be used, placing them in a special container, such as an empty wine bottle, decorative box, or themed container.  Read them on a special occasion or anniversary.


Extra Special Touches. Offer cheerful, coordinated parasols or fans to the women for a garden ceremony. Have guests blow bubbles or drop rose petals as you depart the ceremony or reception. Releasing doves or butterflies after the ceremony will create a breath-taking moment your guests will always remember. 


Redraw the lines. In lieu of a reception receiving line, visit each table as a couple and thank your guests for attending the event. Even if you have a receiving line, this special effort will be appreciated by your guests.


For out-of-towners. Welcome out-of-town guests with a handwritten thank-you note and gift basket or bottle of wine in their hotel rooms. Designate a hospitality room where guests can drop in for a visit before or after the reception. Or, host a brunch the day after the wedding. If your guests number less than fifty, take this opportunity to publicly open the wedding gifts.


There are many ways to make your wedding memorable. Think in terms of making it special for your guests, as well as for you.

“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” 

©2009 Robbin Montero


This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.